Channel Islands Wildlife Cruises1

Island Packers now offers two options for wildlife cruises.  We still have our half day (3.5 hours) wildlife cruise, but now we offer a three-quarter day (5 hours) wildlife cruise also.  Below you will find a comparison of these two trips.  Both trips offer a shoreline cruise of one of the Channel Islands and a chance to view the abundance of wildlife found in the Santa Barbara Channel.

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Both cruises will take you through the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the Channel Islands National Park.


The yellow line shows the direction of the Three- Quarter Day Trip from the Ventura Harbor

The Purple lines show the direction of the Half Day Trip from the Ventura Harbor or Oxnard Harbor.

Half Day Trips | 3.5 Hours Approximately

We will cruise the rugged shoreline of Anacapa Island.  Cruising Anacapa Island you will see the famous Arch Rock that is the landmark for the park as well as the seals and sea lions that make their home on the shore beneath the high cliffs.  Visitors can also view the working lighthouse atop the island.

Photo by Michele Wassell
Photo by Dan Harding - Brown Pelicans in flight

Traveling from the mainland to the island of Anacapa you may see Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions, Humpback, Gray, Blue or Orca Whales.  Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided & Risso's Dolphins may also be sighted on these excursions.  We never know what we are going to see, but these excursions are always an adventure.

Anacapa Island is home to one of the largest breeding populations of Brown Pelicans on the west coast.  Western Gulls breed on all three islet of Anacapa, forming the largest breeding colony of Western Gulls in the world.  Birds abound in the water, on the land and in the skies around Anacapa Island.

Photo by Michele Wassell - Humpback Whale tail fluke
Photo by Dan Harding

Three Quarter Day Trip | 5 Hours Approximately

Three-Quarter Day Wildlife Viewing depend on where wildlife has been spotted recently and may go anywhere that time and sea conditions allow.

Photo by Lotti Keenan

Passengers will usually travel to the west end of Santa Cruz Island, an area known for larger animals and robust sea conditions.

On most days, passengers will be treated to an inside look at one of the largest sea caves in the world, Painted Cave.

Photo by Doug Mangum

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